Bernie Sanders Fact Check: Are only two senators against the Reconciliation Bill?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. President Joe Biden is facing opposition within his own party and from Republicans against his $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” Reconciliation Bill. On Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders made a claim that only two U.S. Senators are interfering with that bill’s passage.

“2 senators cannot be allowed to defeat what 48 senators and 210 House members want.  We must stand with the working families of our country. We must combat climate change. We must delay passing the Infrastructure Bill until we pass a strong Reconciliation Bill,” Sanders tweeted.

But, is it true, that the bill is being held back only by the votes of two senators?

While it’s true that Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have expressed that they would not vote at this time for the $3.5 trillion package, the reality is that there are 100 senators in the U.S. Senate. There are two senators from each state. In order for the bill to pass, Biden would need 50 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris being the tiebreaker.

At this time, there are at least 52 U.S. Senators who oppose the Reconciliation Bill, not two as falsely claimed by Sanders. Instead, Sanders was referring only to the two Democrats who are aiding the bill’s defeat, not the 52 total senators who represent all 50 states in America.

Democrats hold 50 seats in the U.S. Senate and Republicans hold 48. Two other seats are held by independents including Sanders and Angus King, of Maine. Both King and Sanders typically side with the Democrats.

Bernie Sanders’ statement was more of a politically charged rant than a factually accurate statement because the majority of U.S. Senators at this time oppose the bill, not just two.